Broccoli-Spinach Soup with Avocado Toasts

18 03 2012

I thought I was going to hate this soup. It reminded me of the stuff that I was eating during my detox, and I didn’t think I was ready to go back to eating all plant-based ingredients. But both me and my boyfriend ended up really enjoying it. The soup is light and really fresh-tasting, and the addition of tahini and parmesan add a bit of creaminess and tang.

My favorite part though were the little avocado toasts. They match the style of the soup perfectly. The lemon juice spritzed over everything really brings out the flavors.

I wish I could make this post a bit more interesting, but my mind is elsewhere. Boyfriend is gone for the weekend. I have a giant bed to myself and Game of Thrones all loaded up on the iPad. awyeah.

Broccoli-Spinach Soup with Avocado Toasts
Adapted from Whole Living magazine

1 tb. olive oil
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
6 oz baby spinach
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbs. tahini
Salt and pepper
4 slices rustic bread, toasted
2 avocados, sliced
1/4 cup sprouts
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the leek and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook, covered, until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in the spinach, Parmesan, and tahini. Let cool slightly. Season with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Or use an immersion blender.

Top the toasted bread with slices of avocado and sprouts. Season with salt and pepper, squeeze with lemon and give it a drizzle of olive oil.

Butternut Squash, Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna

13 10 2011

Yes, another butternut squash post. ANDTHEREWILLBEMORE. Muaaahhhhaha. *sighs* October.  Honestly, everything about autumn, October and Halloween fills me with this creative, motivational energy. It’s a really magical time. And this is a magical lasagna. Because it only uses a handful of ingredients and is very simply seasoned, the flavors of the vegetables and cheeses are forefront. Tis awesome.

On the topic of the magical and cheesy, check out my band, Cheri Love Affair. We are damned adorable, is my general consensus.

Butternut Squash, Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking: A Commonsense Guide

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium butternut squash, about 3 lbs, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch. pieces
1 lb. spinach
2 cups ricotta
2 tbs. heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Lasagna noodles
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the squash and toss over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Don’t worry if some of the squash gets slightly mashed. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep warm.

Blanch the spinach in a large saucepan of boiling water for 30 seconds, or until wilted. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain well, squeezing out as much excess water as possible, then finely chop.

Add the lasagna to the pot of boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain.

Put the ricotta, cream, Parmesan, spinach and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.

Arrange 4 noodles in a lasagna baking dish. Top with half of the pumpkin, then more lasagna strips. Top with half the ricotta mixture, then the final lasagna strips. Arrange the remaining pumpkin and ricotta mixture over the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Serve!

Pizza Bombay

16 01 2011

This is less a pizza, but more an Indian flatbread. In place of raita, we smothered it in yogurt. Delicious. In place of wine, for the romantic dinner Ryan and I made, we stole a bottle of Sweet Rose Korbel from our landlords. Nothing like a pink champagne to accentuate some curry on the palate.

But really, this “pizza” is great. I’m addicted to nan anytime I’m out at an Indian restaurant, so to add some lentils and spinach to it and make nan the whole meal, top notch! Here we are chowing down on romantic curry night.

Pizza Bombay
Adapted from Vegan Planet

1 tb. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tb. curry powder
1 10 oz. bag of spinach, chopped
1 cup cooked brown lentils, drained
1/4 cup caramelized onions (optional)
Pizza Dough
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, stirring to coat the onion. Add the spinach and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in the lentils, adjust the seasonings and set aside.

Punch the dough down. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out into the size of your baking pan and about 1/4-inch thick. (I used a half-sheet baking pan.) Transfer to the lightly oiled pan and bake on the bottom oven rack for 8 minutes.

Remove from the oven and top with the spinach-lentil mixture. Brush the edges of the crust with olive oil and bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Serve hot and with plain yogurt.

Spinach “Ricotta” Balls

17 11 2010

I’m really tired. Like uugghhhh reaaalllly tired. Went for a short hike this weekend in Boylston and picked a couple of ticks off my body piece afterwards. Maybe I have lyme disease. Does that make one tired? I am tired. I made these vegan spinach bawlz. They are good. I’m sorry but I must retire now. 

UPDATE: Hello! Feeling much better now. Well, slightly. Think I managed to pick up a UTI during my adventures this weekend. If anyone has any natural remedies for this that ACTUALLY WORK, I would be interested to hear them. So a little bit about my balls. They are super savory and moist. My dad discovered them in the fridge and couldn’t get over how rich they tasted. Like something he shouldn’t be eating. They are rich, but in a good way. They’re vegan and baked instead of fried. Try making them to go in a sandwich, or they also taste really good on their own with some ketchup.
Here is a nice photo of my boymanfriend Ryan. He is now of the internet.

Spinach “Ricotta” Balls
Adapted from The Uncheese Cookbook

1 package spinach (fresh baby spinach or frozen chopped spinach both work)
2/3 cup Vegan Parmesan (recipe below)

1 package firm tofu, drained & mashed
3/4 cup vegan mayo
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsps. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion granules
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground dill seed
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Steam the spinach. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.

To make the “ricotta” mixture, combine the tofu, mayo, cornmeal, flour, garlic, onion granules, salt, dill seed, and black pepper in a bowl and mix until it becomes thick. Add the spinach and the “Parmesan” and mix well. Form into balls using 2 tbs. mixture for each ball. Place on an oiled baking sheet and bake 40 minutes. If needed, broil for 5 minutes just to brown the tops.

Vegan Parmesan

1 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup almonds, blanched and dried (to blanch almonds, place them in enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain, then rinse under cold water. Pinch skins between fingers and they should slip off easily)
1/2 tsp. salt

Grind these 3 ingredients up in a food processer. Store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.